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Photography Question 
Adriana Morra

how to operate a pentax camera

Since my camera is a pentax and in order to know if im taking the right pic
inside the view finder is a + and an - how do I know its the right exposure

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11/29/2001 9:37:56 AM

Matt Marsh   Adriana,

The idea there is to center the exposure midway between the + and -. But the meter is not foolproof under all conditions. For example if your subject is in front of a bright background, the meter will average the exposure, and the subject may turn out too dark. The opposite condition will also fool your exposure meter.

There are several ways that you can compensate for this. One way is to move straight in close to your subject, and then adjust your exposure. When you return to the correct distance, leave the exposure set where it is, focus, frame, and then shoot.

Another option is to use what is called a gray card. This heavy piece of cardboard is colored a neutral shade of gray. The card is placed where the subject will be, and the exposure of your camera is set while the card is filling most of the frame. Be sure that you are positioned at the same angle to the light source that you will be shooting the picture from. Remove the card, back up to the desired distance, focus, frame, and then shoot.

Many pros use a method known as bracketing. This method involves shooting two or more shots, with each different shot stopped up and down one f-stop one at a time, so that the odds are better of at least one of the shots having the desired exposure. You can shoot up lots of film this way :)

Before long you will develop somewhat of a knack for anticipating the correct exposure. There is simply no substitute for practice!

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12/3/2001 8:40:05 PM

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